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I love a good French dinner, and recently, in pursuit of one, I popped into Covent Garden’s Les Deux Salons with the extended familia. Set right around the corner from Charing Cross, it sure is a convenient hop from the busy theatre district and, consequently, its stylish dining rooms are always bustling. But for this, I could care less than a jot, if the food doesn’t impress. I’d eat in an empty, tumble-weeded barn in the wastelands of Zone 8, if it guaranteed me a good meal. And so it was with appetite and aspiration, that I crossed the threshold of this self-proclaimed Parisian bistro, ready for my dinner. 
The menu at Les Deux Salon, I suppose, is relatively authentic. Rillettes, terrines, frites, confits and tarts galore, as well as a well-gluggable vin de maison. This latter item is reasonable at £16.50; modest even, for central London. As for the rest of the a la carte menu, I found it overpriced. The starters average at about 8-9 pounds, the mains at 17 (not including sides) and are quite small. I know I’m considered greedy but, really…I’m a 9 stone something girl at the end of the day, hardly a challenging demographic to satiate. If you go for their pre-theatre menu the pricing is better, at £12.95 for two courses, but their standard menu, for me, is not worth it.

The food itself: decent, nothing ground breaking, and a little inconsistent. A good snail and bacon pie was on entrée and a beef tartare that was well over-seasoned and mushy, with no toasted bread or similar to add texture. Mains were tastier; calves liver that was deeply flavoured, if not medium rare, mashed potato that was creamy, if not large and a well-executed duck confit.  A delicious crème brulee was, perhaps, a highlight. 
The service was also authentic. That is, intermittently rude and flirtatious. Concerning the latter observation, I have little complaint (call me); concerning the former, more so. One waiter spilt our glass of wine all over us and then ran away. We had to actively argue to get it replaced.

In summary, this probably is an authentic Parisian bistro, just a bit of an average one. I’d go back for lunch, or perhaps for pre-theatre. For an occasion dinner, no. 

Rating: 5/10


40 – 42 William IV St, London WC2N 4DD
020 7420 2050

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